Nana and Felix is a Korean-Finnish artist duo working together since 2013. Over the years they have developed a distinctive working method, creating artworks under larger, themed projects. Each separate body of work has its own sub-theme that both supports and challenges the main project. This dialectical approach stems from their situation of living between two countries and cultures. All their projects are conditioned by, and reflect on, this duality; the sense of never entirely belonging and being trapped in between.
In a constant effort of untangling, their work draws parallels between their own situation and the surrounding world. Through a mix of parody, irony, and contradiction the artist duo portrays the global world they were born into. They actively borrow, appropriate and rework ideas of traditional Western and Eastern cultural imagery, mixing them up with referents found in modern and contemporary art.
In their first two projectsΒ So.Me.Β and The Zone System, the artist duo explored how photographic images are deployed when assigning humans into categories of race, gender, age, native population, and immigration in the realms of both product advertisement and political propaganda. By mimicking and manipulating photographic media and social surveys, both projects aim at exposing the absurd idea of self-expression that willingly feeds into the authoritative apparatus of control and surveillance.
Their following projects ProgressΒ and WEASTΒ were carried out between 2015 and 2018 in South Korea. Conditioned by the peculiar history of this country, both projects deal with a reversed version of cultural appropriation. These works examine the outcomes of a national project that had been developed based on misinterpreted ideas of how developed foreign countries (i.e. the West) look like. The works mix elements from traditional Korean art with modern, mundane cityscapes.
Their ongoing projectΒ 7 Hours of Future consists of a series of reinterpreted landscapes that portray actual, possible, and alternating realities of South Korea and Finland. From these two distant places, the artist duo focuses on the feelings of isolation, loss, alienation and melancholy arising from our era of constant economic-extractive progress and expansion. From differing angles they create works that treat as disparate issues as urbanisation, pollution, environmental decay, surveillance, monopoly market economy and global outsourcing of production as part of the same phenomenon. By exposing chains of cause and effect between Finland and South Korea, the project portrays not only how these countries exist in interdependence, but also how the consequences of local human economical activity reverberate globally.
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